What’s hot and what’s not in Seattle?

Where to invest next in Seattle/Eastside neighborhoods? I’ve been thinking about the list Seattle Metropolitan Magazine came up in April (see below). With gas prices up, rapid transit going in, I think the next hot spots will be along those rapid transit routes like what happened in San Francisco and Portland.

Here are 2 lists, one from last month and one from 3 years ago. My clients usually make a decision where to buy based on either the commute or schools, sometimes as specific as a certain grade school. What about home age and style. It has been suggested that buyers like the homes their grandparents lived in, not the ones they grew up in, so Will the next batch of buyers want the 50’s and 60’s houses as has been suggested and if so, should we be buying in those areas? There was supposed to be a trend away from large homes, and that’s probably the case considering home prices are so high most can’t have the size home the buyers of the 90’s did.

Here is the Seattle Metropolitan Magazine list of 15 of the hottest neighborhoods in it’s April issue.

Grandes Dames: established and well rooted neighborhoods:

  1. Medina: (recognize the house above?)
  2. Madison Park
  3. Admiral

The Rock Stars: fast rising districts surging with glamour and vitality.

  1. Ballard
  2. Pike/Pine Corridor
  3. Moss Bay, Kirkland

Cinderellas: Formerly neglected areas now traipsing to the ball

  1. South Lake Union (courtesy of Paul Allen)
  2. Columbia City
  3. Georgetown
  4. Westwood

Sleeping Beauties: Location, economy and neighborliness drawing overdue attention

  1. Upper Rainier Beach
  2. North Greenwood
  3. Monroe
  4. Stadium district, Tacoma
  5. Cape George Colony, Port Townsend

This is a dramatic change from 2003, when SeattleMagazine.com had their list of hot neighborhoods

  1. Bryant
  2. Montlake
  3. Sunset Hill
  4. North Beach
  5. Blue Ridge
  6. Olympic Manor
  7. Phinney Ridge
  8. Greenwood Manor
  9. North Admiral
  10. Westwood

Almost all of these were north of the U District.

Does this mean that our citizens are fickle and don’t have favorites more than 3 years in a row? Or was it this kind of story that drove the prices up in those neighborhoods so that they are now not affordable? Is it possible in 3 years that even Georgetown will be sizzling? I’d love to tap into the collective minds of RCG bloggers and see what you think.

I think Burien is an up-and-coming area and it’s not on either list. Any other hidden gems out there?

Meet a Realtor Who Doesn't Sell Houses…

The NY Times ran an article a few weeks ago on how hard it is for new real estate agents to break into the market (I’d like to the article but it is now behind a password-protected wall, so instead I’ll just link to the Property Grunt’s excellent summary and analysis). This article got me thinking of a way that I could still be very useful to my clients without actually buying or selling any homes.

What’s that? A Realtor who doesn’t buy or sell any homes?

For the next six-months or so, I really won’t be in a position where I can dedicate a significant amount of time to helping clients. (higher priorities! ) But what I would really enjoy doing over the next few months is staying connected to the business by helping buyers and sellers find appropriate agents.

Say that again?

Mariel Kicking a Soccer BallIn my office alone, there are almost 100 real estate agents who would love to have your business (assuming you’re buying or selling a home) and while I don’t know all of these agents, I do know the successful ones . What I would like to do is use my inside knowledge of successful Seattle agents to connect individuals with the right agents.

For example:

  • Are you looking for a condo in Downtown? I know an agent who specializes there!
  • Are you looking to buy land in Woodinville? I know a different agent who specializes there!
  • How about a modern-style home in Seattle? I know a different agent who specializes in modern homes.

Regardless if you’re trying to sell a home, condo, boathouse, townhome, etc., I’ve come into contact with a highly successful agent who specializes in that field. Talk with me, and I’ll connect you with the right person.

Why would I do this?

It is really a win-win-win situation. You get the best representation possible, a successful real estate agent gets one more client, and I can continue to help people in a small but important way. (I’ll also get a small referral fee from the agent…)

By the way, my recommendations are not limited to just people moving to Seattle. I know a few listings agents who go out of their way to please, so if you are currently a Seattle-area homeowner looking to list your house, talk with me before you list. I’m confident that no matter how good your realtor is, I can get you a better one!

Inbox: Where to Live Within Biking Distance of UW?

Sasha With BikeI had someone email me the other day with an interesting question, and I thought I would share my response… and then see if anyone in the community could improve upon it.

Question: I’m moving to Seattle and interested in finding a neighborhood where I can bike to my work at the University of Washington (UW). Where should I be looking?

My Answer: There are a bunch of great places to live in North Seattle that are within biking distance to the UW. I would stay away from the south part of Seattle because there are not a lot of good north-south bike route through the downtown… (too many hills and not enough dedicated bike lanes).

Seeing as how I live in North Seattle and I bike a lot, I end up referencing the bike map put out by the City of Seattle quite often. Here is a direct link to the bike map of North Seattle (*.pdf), but note that this is a large file (1.5 MB). If you download the map, you’ll notice that the Burke-Gilman trail (a solid red line) goes through the UW campus. The Burke-Gilman is a wonderful commuting trail and has been recently expanded to the north-west all the way to the Golden Gardens Park. If you can find a place to live within a short ride to the Burke-Gilman, then you will have an easy ride to work!

By the way, if you follow this link, you can order a free hard-copy of the bike map: http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/transportation/bikemapform.htm

Do you have a better answer for this question? Are there any neighborhoods that are particularly attractive for bicyclists? Please share your knowledge in the comments section!

Do you ever Google people?

Tim PilgrimDo you google people before (or after) you meet them? I’m under the impression that everyone does it, and yet, I feels pings of guilt in admitting it…

Anyway, I sometimes google things related to this site and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that one of our very own contributors received an “Every Day Hero” award from the Red Cross for his quick actions in helping to put out a fire at a home in the University District! Congratulations Tim Pilgrim!

Oh, the things we can learn from google!

Farmers’ Markets in Seattle

Tulips As a test for a new little program I wrote to post things on Google Maps, I’ve put a map together displaying all the Farmers’ Markets in Seattle. In order to do this, I cribbed heavily from a few websites such as metroblogging and the Neighborhood Farmers’ Market Alliance .

The farmers’ markets current being displayed include:

  • Pike Place Market
  • Ballard Farmers’ Market
  • Broadway Farmers’ Market
  • Capital Hill Farmers’ Market
  • Columbia City Farmers’ Market
  • Fremont Market
  • Lake City Farmers’ Market
  • Magnolia Farmers’ Market
  • University District Farmers’ Market
  • West Seattle Farmers’ Market

If you know of some other farmers’ markets that should be included or some data that needs to be updated, just let me know.

By the way, I also made my first google maps “marker” for this site. If you look closely, you may notice that the marker is a tulip based on the flower in the center of the above photo.

Farmers’ Markets in Seattle

Seattle Wikipedia

Jim on GuitarAre you looking for some background information on the Seattle area? Maybe you are moving to Seattle or just want to find out more about a local neighborhoods? You could do much worse than Wikipedia.org where they have entries on all the major aspects of Seattle. Entries include the local economy, culture, polities and neighborhoods (among many other entries!). Currently, the neighborhoods with entries that are pretty comprehensive include:

Also, another group has put a Seattle Wiki together that is much more specific to the area and might be of interest to some. However, as of today, the entries are not nearly as complete as the general Wiki…

What is a Wiki?

Essentially a Wiki is a user-updated on-line encyclopedia. The sheer volume of entries and the fact that anyone can update it are both its strongest and its weakest points. There is a massive amount of interesting articles, but the editors (me and you!) are often a little biased!